Based on our social feeds alone, it seems like more millennials are investing their money in travel and experiences than previous generations have. There’s no denying the influence Instagram has had on the way we travel and how often, but it turns out there’s far more to it than doing it for the ‘gram. Aside from being an awesome source of “like”-worthy content, traveling can benefit individuals — particularly millennials — in more ways than one.

Global travel company Contiki recently released a new study, The Power of Travel, that highlights the positive impact travel has on young people, from their careers to their self-confidence. The study, which was advised by leading social psychologist Adam Ganlinsky, PhD, Columbia Business School, surveyed 3,000 18- to 35-year-old travelers and non-travelers (those who’ve never been outside their home country) around the world.

Below are some of the key findings:

Travel Empowers Careers

  • 63 percent of travelers said that travel experiences have improved their education and employment.
  • 75 percent of travelers said that they are more confident and can perform efficiently on many different tasks.
  • Travelers said that they are 15 percent more likely to have increased willingness to take risks or accept new challenges.
  • 25 percent of travelers are more likely to set goals for themselves and regularly achieve them.
  • 63 percent of travelers said that travel has helped their ability to problem solve efficiently.

Travel Creates Cultural Awareness

  • 13 percent of travelers place a high value on open-mindedness and seven percent are more likely to think “outside the box.”
  • 75 percent of travelers said that travel has created an awareness of other cultures that has led to increased tolerance and/or compassion.
  • 57 percent of travelers said that they often feel a sense of kinship with people from different ethnic groups.

Travel Creates Global Citizens

  • 40 percent of travelers said that they participate in activities in their community.
  • 46 percent of travelers voted in the last presidential/national election.
  • 21 percent of travelers said that they have written to or communicated with their national government.
  • 63 percent of travelers said that travel has shaped their perspective on global politics.

“Through our research and advisement from Adam Ganlinsky, it’s evident that travel directly impacts young people’s education and employment — from strengthening their skillset and their self-efficacy — and the idea of feeling able to handle the world,” Adam Cooper, Contiki US president, told POPSUGAR.

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“Adam says that travel has the ability to shift personalities and the way we approach the world — those who are less extroverted and open can increase in those qualities through a deep and immersive travel experience and make us all more open-minded and flexible,” Cooper told us. “These qualities are all crucial to succeed in the workplace; having a stronger sense of self-clarity and approaching projects with a more adaptable mind ultimately creates more creative individuals, as they are able to think more deeply and with more complexity.”

Of all the compelling results the study yielded, Cooper was most surprised by the statistic that 43 percent of 18- to 35-year-old travelers are more likely to be satisfied with their employment.

“I assumed this stat would be much lower, as you always hear inspiring stories of people quitting their nine-to-five jobs to travel the world or fulfill a crazy life-long dream,” Cooper said. “But interestingly enough, nearly half of young travelers who travel internationally are much more satisfied in their careers due to enhanced personality traits, cultural awareness, and confidence in what they can achieve in life.”

Another interesting finding that stood out to Cooper? Despite the fact that young travelers are spending more time away from their native countries, those who travel have even a greater sense of citizenship in comparison to those who stay within their country’s borders.

To further illustrate the study’s results, Contiki teamed up with former Viceland producer Tom Gould to show the life-changing effects travel has had on one New Yorker who had never left the US.

So, travel more and travel often — it’s good for you!

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